Saturday, 1 July 2017

Body confidence and life lessons.

Okay so it is no secret that I have been incredibly down and anxious for the past few weeks. Maybe even a couple of months, I don't know. Because of that I've not been nearly as active here as I wanted to be this year. For that I can only apologise. But I'm here now and I wanted to write something really positive. So here I am with a mid year recap turned body confidence/self love rambling post thing. (Edit: I'm feeling much better now).

I know that a large number of people start every new year with the declaration that 'this will be my year!' and I can't help but wonder how many people have found this year to be a good one thus far. 2017 has seen a lot of political shit, for starters. That discourages me from saying anything positive about the year before we even touch on my personal life. But here goes nothing.

This year has seen me progress toward being a manager at work. Seen the birth of a new baby sister; Harper (congratulations to my dad and his girlfriend). This year has seen many arguments, and more panic attacks than I've ever experienced in my life. I'm learning how to move on, and how to get rid of the toxic people that seem to fill my life at the moment. I'm learning to let go, and it's one of the most important things I've ever learnt (side note one of my friends sent me this video earlier and my god, it is so so helpful). I'm letting go of grudges, and the little things that get to me day to day. Boy it is difficult.

Okay. So I think this may be a long one and I apologise in advance. I watched this video too and I loved the concept of being able to turn insecurities and self perceived flaws into positives. Why have I only just discovered this youtube channel?! Thank you Lauren.

I hate my nose. I have done for many years. My little sister has got the same nose, I think. And I just hope that she grows into it. I feel as though my nose takes up ninety percent of my face. It is too big and urgh. Okay, now to turn this into something positive (HOW DO I DO THIS). No. Okay. This nose is my dads nose. It means that I have a feature of one of my parents and I think that's a pretty damn good thing. It's like an identifier, I guess, so that's cool.

Okay. What else do I hate? My lack of boobs (I apologise for this one but anyone who spends any amount of time with me knows I make jokes about this pretty regularly but I do not appreciate other people making jokes about this). My sister does not suffer from the same misfortune! (SHE IS THREE YEARS YOUNGER THAN ME!) But yeah. I'll not go into much more detailing about this as I am uncomfortable with certain people reading about this. Okay, here I go attempting to turn  it into a positive. I guess I get to buy pretty underwear and I'm pretty tiny with regard to my entire form so I am proportionate. Small boobs aren't really a terrible thing, I suppose.

I hate the bags under my eyes the most of all just lately. But I guess the best way to turn them into a positive is to think of them as a sign of hard work. I didn't sleep much in my second year of university because I was working, and doing uni work at the same time. It was exhausting but really rewarding. So with passing my second year, I'm gonna consider those bags a small price to pay!

So what do I actually like about my body? I've learnt to like my legs (except knees. But knees are weird in general), over anything else. And maybe my waist line. I'm just going to point out that I feel uncomfortable saying I like something about my body. I feel as though it makes me vain if I admit that I like something. But loving my body, even in parts rather than the sum total, is a relatively new concept. I was happy starving myself and carving marks into various limbs for the most part of my teens. And if you'd have asked me a couple of years ago, I'd have said I hated those scars more than anything. Truth is, you can barely see them now. But it wouldn't bother me either way. Thinking about it, I think I appreciate my body more now. I don't deliberately mistreat it anymore so perhaps I am going up in the world with regard to self love.

I wonder if I have been conditioned to feel as though I should put myself down? I don't know. But I am used to rejecting compliments, like it comes second nature to me now. I'm not being modest. I genuinely don't believe said compliments. Some guy told me I had a nice smile last week and I laughed in his face. I feel for Chelsey who has to deal with my panic about what to wear every day and how to wear my make up. I have nothing but praise for her and Lauren, who constantly build my confidence. I really appreciate and admire women that tell other girls they are pretty (I'm not fishing for compliments, I just think this is a lovely idea. Everybody needs support).

Lauren suggested compiling a list of things that help me with my insecurities. This was really hard in general to think about. Do I combat my insecurities at all or am I simply just accepting of them? I don't know. I know a good skin care routine helps me feel a bit better, and physical exercise.

I think it will take me a very long time to love my body completely. I take very few selfies that without filters. I'll load up snapchat and look at my face, and think 'hmm. 4 or 5 out of ten. Not bad. Maybe this will be a decent selfie'. But then I'll load up a filter and my face will get thinner, and any spots will fade away and I'll feel as though my actual face has suddenly lost all of its credibility. When in actual fact my face is not fat, and the filter has not slimmed it down all that much. The only difference is that I have a flower crown on my head. Maybe the lighting is a little better with a snapchat flower crown. So why am I so favourable toward filtered selfies in comparison to those that are unfiltered? Who knows but this worries me, a lot.

The truth is, I don't think I am stunningly good looking but I've realised that I am okay with how I look. Have I accepted my insecurity? Is this defeating the object of me promoting self love? Am I simply accepting what I think is my lesser standard of looks? Probably. But I think it's a lot to ask to expect somebody to be okay with themselves entirely when a) they have anxiety and b) they are surrounding by many societal expectations, comparisons and prejudices. The world is a very negative place when you are trying to develop body confidence. I don't want to sit here and make out like its easy to feel good about yourself because it really isn't. But I feel like we should feel good about ourselves and its awful that there is no room to do this.

Oh! I just remembered that I recently saw on Twitter that ASOS hadn't edited out a models stretch marks! How great is that! Seriously though, the world needs more of that. I want to look at clothes online and not feel like 'oh man I am not going to look that good in that shirt' or 'my ass won't look as good in those jeans'. You go ASOS.

I guess the point of this post is to say that there will probably never be a time when I am completely happy and in love with my entire body. But right now I am content and okay. In all honesty I've spent the day in bed, I am still in my pyjamas and I don't have that much make up on. But in the spirit of being body positive I thought I'd take a picture and use the only one I took for this post. It has no filter on it at all. So here is a picture of me, standing in front of my book case. The picture quality is awful and my skin looks shite. But it was the first one I took, and I am accepting it. I look happy so I guess I'm good.

I leave you with a some final words of wisdom that I first heard whilst watching The Princess Diaries when I was younger (so here, have a gif!). But the original source was actually Eleanor Roosevelt. It's a multipurpose quote and I think it applies to appearance, personality and intelligence. Everything. The message is so important. You are in control.

I hope that you all have a happy and confident week and I will return very very soon with a June Fairy Loot unboxing.

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